Debuting March 29, the Galaxy S8 has spurred a tsunami of rumors and leaks, but it's not the only exciting phone you should pay attention to. Several other handsets offer compelling features and designs, including a big-screen LG that easily fits in one hand, the first Google-made phones and two serious values for bargain hunters.
Here are the best Galaxy S8 alternatives you can buy now (or soon).
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The LG G6 (price TBD) gives phablets a good name by cramming a large 5.7-inch display into a compact, one-hand-friendly design. And it is a gorgeous screen, offering sharp quad HD+ resolution combined with HDR support (the same tech found on the latest TVs) for eye-popping color. The G6 also boasts a water-resistant design and a dual-lens camera that lets you shoot gorgeous wide-angle shots. In fact, the G6 beat the iPhone 7 in our camera shoot-out. The only real drawback is the G6's slightly dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor.
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The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL are both formidable Android phones. Not only are these the first phones with the handy Google Assistant built in, they will always have the latest updates to Google's OS. That won't be the case with the Galaxy S8. (Consider that 2016's Galaxy S7 flagship only started getting updated to Nougat earlier this year.) Add in a top-notch 12.3-megapixel camera, vivid AMOLED displays and quick charge capabilities, and you have two winners in two different sizes: 5 or 5.5 inches.
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Don't have a small fortune to spend on your next phone? The Moto G5 Plus packs impressive specs for just $229. It offers a sleek aluminum design, fingerprint sensor, speedy octa-core CPU and a 12-MP camera that focuses 60 percent faster than its predecessor. The 5.2-inch screen isn't exactly huge, but the 3,000 mAh battery should last you a day on a charge.
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We wouldn't dare put the regular iPhone 7 up against the Galaxy S8. The 4.7-inch screen is just too small. But the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus should still be fairly competitive next to Samsung's new flagship. Its dual-lens camera offers a true optical zoom — something the S8 will probably lack. And you get very fast performance along with long battery life, in addition to early access to apps that hit iOS first. Still, if you're trying to decide between an iPhone and the Galaxy S8, and you can hold out until the fall, it may worth seeing what Apple has in store for the iPhone 8.
The Xperia XZ Premium makes a very good first impression with a dazzling 4K display (a rarity for phones). But it's the camera that steals the show. The Motion Eye technology has its own flash memory, which enables superslow-motion captures at 960 frames per second. That's four times slower than the iPhone 7, and it makes for some pretty dramatic-looking footage. Just be sure to carry around a polishing cloth for the mirror-like backside; it picks up smudges in a hurry.
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There are phones with good battery life, and there's the Huawei Mate 9. This beast lasted a very impressive 12 hours on the Tom's Guide web surfing battery test, nearly 3 hours more than the average phone. You also get a big and bright 5.9-inch screen and a high-quality Leica camera (though it can struggle in low light). Plus, Huawei will soon add Amazon's Alexa assistant via a software update.
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The HTC U Ultra is a smartphone that promises to get smarter over time. When it debuts, the Sense Companion will be a virtual assistant that helps you do everything from send messages and reject incoming calls to starting hands-free navigation. We'll have to see how it stacks up to Samsung's Bixby in the S8. This phablet also sports a big 5.7-inch screen with a secondary display for delivering key info at a glance, as well as four high-sensitivity mics for recording 360-degree audio. Just be aware that HTC may have another smartphone in the works — the HTC 11 — for later this year.
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